Makita 18V Lithium-Ion Drills – White vs. Blue

Posted by on November 6, 2006

Today, we added the Makita BDF452HW 18V Lithium-Ion Drill to our website. The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s white. We nicknamed it “Shamu” when we first saw it. But what makes it different from the standard blue Makita BDF451 18V LXT Lithium-Ion drill?


So the first thing that’ll grab you is the price difference. Sure, $100 less is a big deal, but there’s got to be a cause, right? I mean, $100 for blue dye in the plastic they use seems a bit high. But wait, looking at the specifications reveals the answer.


The Watt Hours of the batteries differ considerably. On the BDF451, they use 3 AH batteries at 18V, which gives 54 Watt hours (AH * V). The BDF452HW has 1.5 AH batteries at 18V, which gives 27 Watt hours. So the runtime on the BDF451 is going to be twice that of the BDF452HW with the included batteries. What’s being done here is that Makita, in trying to get to that $200ish pricepoint, has made smaller batteries for a “Value” line.


The charger included with the white model is a 15 minute charger which doesn’t have a fan includes a fan, although it wasn’t listed anywhere in the specs for the charger. The blue model includes the 45 minute optimum controller with temperature control via a fan to circulate air through the battery itself. This helps create a more even charge by having the cells in a more consistent state during charging.

Update: Makita will apparently be moving all of their tools to this charger, which will be 22 minutes on a 3AH battery and 15 on the 1.5AH.


Also noted is that the BDF451HW uses a 2 speed transmission and the BDF452 uses a 3 speed. The difference in gearing makes for a 450 vs 560 rating for torque as well. Not that most people will notice the difference in torque, but that shows which markets each one is intended for.


The white model is intended for use in the high-end homeowner market, the DIY guys and low-end contractor market. The blue model is the flagship, with all the bells and whistles, designed for the professional that is using the cordless tools on a regular basis. They’re both Makita quality, but they’re just expanding their horizons a bit. The side handle, belt hook, and a few other minor differences make the BDF452 the choice for contractors, and most DIY and homeowner types won’t even notice those are missing.

Good Call

I think Makita made a good call here going after the lower price market. This should make it a much easier choice between current 18V Ni-Cad and Li-Ion drills and moving up to Li-Ion. Kudos to Makita for being first to come out with a full featured Li-Ion cordless drill at Ni-Cad pricing.

One Response to Makita 18V Lithium-Ion Drills – White vs. Blue

  1. dave

    Uh, according to Makita, the only difference between the drills is that the black/whites can use both batteries but only available with the 1.5ah batteries. The blue/black ones only use the 3.0ah batteries. There isn’t a lower standard held for one over the other. The black/whites have belt clips, good chargers, etc. I don’t like the black/white look but it should be a good tool. As far as I can tell, the disadvantage of the black/whites is that their 1.5ah batteries aren’t good with many of the 3.0ah accessory tools available in the blue/black. The 1.5ah batteries don’t have the juice to cut it with a cordless saw for example. If you buy the black/white, you can’t accessorize your cordless setup with bare tools.